Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"But you have this thing to go to. A fundraiser. For AIDS. And sure, you're totally f'ing depressed and you really don't want to leave the house because, for one thing, there are all those people outside and you know they're all going to want to talk to you and shit, but you're can't ditch an AIDS fundraiser because even though you're really depressed and you just want to stare at the wall and maybe watch a little of the Tyra Banks Show before burying your head in the pillows of the sofa and crying because you're at home watching the Tyra Banks Show, at least you don't have AIDS and you know rationally that you ought to be happy about that, so you manage to get upright and wrap yourself in a sheet you bought at a recent prison auction and go out and try to act like you don't want to die every moment of the day.
A question for Lindsay Beyerstein (comment deleted by her)
How does your appreciation of GFY square with your broader philisophcal viewpoint? Your 'about' page used to make reference to your discovery of Susan Haack, etc. Given that I'm surprised you didn't agree with Ann Bartow.
GFY is basically articulate witty commentary on crap. The 'content', following a form and content divide, is absolute and total dreck. The bitching and insult are predicated on the logic of triumphalist sexism, and as a discourse on sex it's the equivalent of the banter of two drunken drag queens, with all the reactionary implications. 

But here's the question: The history of literature as opposed to philosophy is the history of writing as craft What's the moral or philosophical value of articulate speech as such? 

I added my comment before reading others'. The point is wasted.
The moral and philisophical value of literature and art is that they don't obey the law of contradiction. LB is unwilling to admit that her tastes contradict her ideas. [She's a moralist except when she's not. Rationalists rationalize. Moralists are hypocrites. GFY is honest]

Feminist law professor Ann Bartow can't understand why anyone is amused by Go Fug Yourself, the celebrity fashion snark blog.
Ann writes
One of the many reasons I’m glad that I am a law professor rather than an actor or musician is that I don’t have to worry much about my hair, make-up or clothes; I’d be unemployed if I did. I grieve for the talented performers who spend inordinate time and money on dieting, plastic surgery, hair styling, and cosmetics applications, and still fall short of “the celebrity look” that must be portrayed before their acting or musical abilities will even be considered by their industries. The most I have to fear is “feedback” on my appearance by students who make observations about my legs, hair and sartorial selections in their course evaluations. Occasionally harsh and inappropriate, none has risen to the level of abject meanness and misogyny I perceive at “Go Fug Yourself,” although the goal of putting the dumb girl in her place is probably the same. I just don’t understand how anyone who identified as a feminist could endorse “Go Fug Yourself” even as a “guilty pleasure.” Maybe this is evidence of my own internalized biases and intolerance, I don’t know. Has my sense of humor atrophied?
Last month, I was walking down the street in Amsterdam with my American blogger buddies and our new Dutch friends. We were talking about whether there were any blogs with truly global appeal. Someone suggested "Go Fug Yourself." We laughed at first, but gradually it dawned on us that there was a lot of truth to that statement. Its appeal transcends age, gender, and sexual orientation. You don't have to follow high fashion or care about celebrity gossip.

Some GFY fans I know: a married Dutch socialist organizer, a Canadian geekboy and fashion agnostic, a bunch of jazz musicians, uber-trendy New York account executives, barely legal DC policy wonks, feminist bloggers from red and blue states, Williamsburg alt culture types, random Brooklyn subway riders ... Basically everyone I know. The fact that the site is popular doesn't mean it isn't misogynist. However, I think the diversity of the site's audience suggests that there's more going on that simple-minded anti-celebrity sniping. First off, the authors, Heather and Jessica are good writers with sharp eyes for absurd detail. They also have good taste in clothes. They don’t just criticize, they inform. They tend to focus on pictures of potentially trendy outfits turned monstrous because of miscalculations in color, cut, fit, or accessories.

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